Saying No to a Friend?

I've been doing federal income taxes for a number of years for family members and friends. The relatives of the friend are a 22 year old granddaughter, a 30 year old son, and a 50+ year old son all in the same household with my friend.


In the process of doing these taxes the friend calls me with the information for me to complete the returns. I never talk to the younger ones. I have the 50+ year old on the phone while doing his taxes and he seems appreciative. My friend isn't required to file a return. For the first time the 30 year (making nearly $50,000 a year) finally called to thank me, but only after I told my friend if he didn't I wouldn't do his taxes again.

Three people work full time and my friend draws more Social Security than I do. My friend made the statement "we would pay you, but money is short right now". We have been friends for years and she knows my financial situation and knows I'm not strapped for money, but neither are they. Money has "never" been an issue "until" she made that statement. I am also a senior living with my adult son; I draw Social Security and my son works full time.

I've always told my friend "I don't mind, but now that the kids are young adults I'm starting to mind and feel unappreciated and used. These people are not computer illiterate and they have smart phones that can enable them to file their own taxes. I have always been a giving person, but under this situation I'm tired of giving. How can I stop this without hurting her feelings?


June 21, 20150 found this helpful

You could just be very up front about it and tell her you value her friendship, but are starting to feel "used" by the situation and would rather not do her entire family's taxes any more, as you don't want it to affect your feelings for her.

Her response will give you a direction to move in---if she gets upset or snubs you, you'll know it's time to cultivate different friends,...who will value you for the person you are.

If she cares about you truly as a friend, she will either find someone else to do her taxes, or realize that you have been being treated unfairly and ask what you'd need in payment for doing the returns in the future.

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June 21, 20150 found this helpful

Very good and wise advice above (or below). I would tell her as kindly as you can that you do not have time to do taxes for non-paying customers as it is interfering with those who DO pay you. It's just common business sense! Good luck - we all have those freeloaders in our lives! Gotta stand strong!

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June 22, 20150 found this helpful

Sometimes our so called "Friends", have a way of making their problems fade, by using us to do it. I have met so many people who expect me to do things for them again and again, because we're friends ! If that's why they're friends with you, than you don't need that kind of friendship! And their reaction will tell you everything you need to know. Some people are users and will keep sucking the life out of you! I don't know about you but I don't want a friend who wants my favors more than my friendship. I don't want to work that hard to be friends with someone! Their taxes are their problem, don't let them make it yours! I understand exactly what you are going through I have friends whose children I take care of in my home! ( I used to be a preschool teacher.) They do have to pay but it is much much less than anywhere around and I've been doing this for over 20 years. This is how I earn a paycheck.I watch their children for 10 to 12 hours per day! (Even when the child is sick! Sometimes They don't show up for hours, or they don't come at all, and they don't call me to let me know, they leave me sitting here waiting all day. Sometimes they are late picking the children up, (without an explanation or an apology or paying me extra $ after watching their children for 12 hours every day (and teaching, potty training, reading, playing, dancing, etc)! So if they show up a half an hour or an hour late, that is time that I don't have with my family! And whenever they don't have money they seem to want to take it out of me that's not friendship! I don't think I want to work that had to be someone's friend especially if they're an emotional vampire!
Good luck and God bless ! I hope everything works out for you! If they copping attitude about it and they don't want to be your friend anymore it's their loss not yours!

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June 23, 20151 found this helpful

Stop doing it.

Really, it's that simple. You feel used and not appreciated. They are taking advantage of you. They obviously have all the means they need to do this job themselves or hire someone but they just don't want to. It is simply easier for them to get you to do it for free.

Obviously they have never been truly appreciative. You don't even owe them an explanation, but you can always just say you don't have the time.

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Better Living FriendshipAugust 9, 2015
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